Publication: Across the Line
Date: June, 2001
page: title: Tool - SFX, Dublin author: Rory McConnell The anticipation surrounding this event has been building since Tool cancelled their last Irish appearance (support to Rage Against The Machine) back in '93. Since then, the LA based four piece have released three albums that have seen them become not only one of the biggest-selling bands in the world today, but arguably the most influential. It's strange then that they've chosen to make their debut Irish appearance in Dublin's SFX, (think sardines in tins and you're closer than you realise) a venue they could have sold out several more times than the single night they intend to grace us with this evening. The first thing the overexcited crowd see once through the door is a tiny stage, the backdrop made up of huge screens to host Tool's now infamous performance visuals. Judging by the size of these monsters, one can only imagine the band's disappointment when they discovered that it was not Wembley Arena they were playing, but a venue that can hold around 1 200 on a good day. Finally the eight year wait is about to end. No-one knows what is going to happen. There is still the possibility they simply won't feel like playing and just cancel the show. But there they are, and we're ready for them. First song 'The Grudge' is also the opener from the band's new album 'Lateralus'. Some of the crowd don't know it that well so it's not until second song and mass favourite 'Stinkfist' that the crowd really lets loose. Front-man Maynard James Keenan looks down on us from his specially constructed platform and simply says the word "Dublin" and hysteria sets in. Later on he will tell us that, for the band, this is a homecoming gig, as his great grandfather was Irish. A silly thing to say as now we will claim Tool as a local band for years to come. They play crowd-pleasers '46 + 2' and 'AEnima' from the album of the same name, as well as singles 'Prison Sex' and favourite on the night 'Sober' from 93's 'Undertow' album. As with all Tool material it takes a while to get your head around it before you're hooked, which is probably why songs from the new album don't fare as well tonight. Latest single 'Schism' gets a good reception, but that could have something to do with the fact it is played twice . First live, then again during the intermission (this time the video plays while the band leave the stage), but the fact that during this second play one punter in front of me strains to see where the band is (thinking they are still on stage), while others scream the band's names should give you a good impression of just how tight their performance is. Interestingly enough it's the video that gets one of the biggest cheers of the night. The band have always maintained that the visual aspect of the live show is equally as important as the music, and for the fans tonight it is as equally compelling. It is a gig that will stick in the minds of everybody, myself included. Maynard says it will be hard for him to leave, a thought everyone can relate to. Tool will play Ireland again, probably some arena or purpose-built tent with finely-tuned acoustics, but never in a show this intimate and never one as personal.
Posted to t.d.n: 12/20/01 00:25:11